Free-agent pitcher Jordan Zimmerman just became $110 million richer after striking up a huge deal with the Detroit Tigers in Major League Baseball.
The right-hander Zimmerman averaged 14 ½ wins and more than 200 innings in the last four seasons with the Washington Nationals. The 29-year-old was expected to be the first pitcher to undergo Tommy John surgery (ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) reconstruction; a surgical graft procedure in which the ulnar collateral ligament in the medial elbow is replaced with a tendon from elsewhere in the body) in 2009 and later earned a nine-figure deal. Previously, the highest Tommy John patient who received a $ 97.5 million deal for five years is Adam Wainwright of the St. Louis Cardinals.
Zimmerman’s number were slightly off the mark in 2015 when he went through increases in ERA (3.66), battling average against (.264), WHIP (1.205) and home runs per nin (1.1) over 2014, he was the fifth in the National League Cy Young voting. He finished seventh in that vote the previous season. He still remained among the league leaders in walks per nine innings, and threw more than 200 innings for the second time in three seasons.
In over seven seasons with Washington, Zimmerman will be remembered for two starts – his last of the 2014 regular season and the one right after in the postseason.
The Tigers were actively looking for two starting pitchers in the offseason. Zimmerman addressed their need for no. 1 or 2 after David Price and Max Scherzer left. No pitcher in Detroit threw more than 160 innings this year, as injuries affected Justin Verlander and Anibal Sanchez.
The 29-year-old has the sixth best ERA+ in the majors in the past four seasons – just ahead of Cole Hamels and Madison Bumgarner – among pitchers throwing at least 800 innings over that span.
He entered free agency with a 70-50 record and 3.32 ERA in 178 career starts before inking a deal with the Tigers.